Why do I need a Home Condition Survey?

The government and consumer groups recommend that home buyers should strongly consider having a home condition survey carried out. A survey is useful because it will advise on minor maintenance and major works required on the property now and in the future.

Most condition surveys in England and Wales are undertaken by members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). But members of other associations and institutions also undertake home condition surveys, such as members of CABE, CIOB and RSPA.

We are members of the RPSA who have mandatory guidance that we must follow when undertaking condition surveys

As you move up the 3 levels there is a greater level of inspection and a more detailed advice report. Level 1 reports are only suitable for conventionally built modern dwellings, showing no signs of being in bad condition. Whereas a Level 3 report (previously known as a “Building Survey”) is suitable for larger, older, or run-down properties, a property that is unusual or altered, or if major works are planned. Most condition surveys are Level 2 reports (previously known as a “Home Buyers Report”).

It’s estimated that currently only 20% of buyers currently commission a home condition survey on the property they’re thinking of buying, which when you think about it this is such a low number, considering that you are probably making your biggest ever purchase. No doubt when you are viewing a property, you may well pick up on some items yourself, but we have years of experience and will consider issues that you probably would never even consider. We lift drain covers, we consider trees and invasive plants like Japanese Knotweed, we look at potential flood risk, check for previous mining, radon issues, we even check broadband speed! In addition, we use drone technology to take a detailed view of roofs, chimney stacks and take a look at what is around the property.

During the home buying process, if a mortgage is being used, then the bank or building society will undertake a mortgage valuation to manage their financial risk. This is not to be confused with a condition survey. A mortgage valuation is essentially making sure that the property exists and isn’t going to fall down. It will not advise you of issues, it is there to protect the lender, which does however mean that if they don’t feel the property is suitable, then they are protecting you in a way, by not letting you purchase the property, but they are not going to advise you on issues that are going to cost you money in the future, such as roof repairs, new boiler etc…

If you would like more detail on Home Condition Surveys, then please feel free to give us a call on 01484 507801

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